Medicare Physicians

News & Analysis as of

CMS Signals that Meaningful Use Program Will Change Significantly for Physicians

On January 11, 2016, CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt announced that the Medicare Electronic Health Record Incentive Program will be replaced significantly in 2017 by the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for...more

GAO Recommends Equalizing Payment for Evaluation & Management Visits

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining trends in “vertical consolidation” — hospital acquisition of physician practices or hiring of physicians as salaried employees – and the impact on...more

GAO Recommends Payment Reform in Response to Increase in Hospital/Physician Consolidation

On December 18, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report analyzing the increase in hospital/physician consolidation and a related increase in Medicare hospital outpatient spending. Finding that...more

CMS Schedules Call on MACRA Global Surgery Data Requirement (Jan. 20)

On January 20, 2016, CMS is holding a call on data collection requirements related to global surgical periods as mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Under this provision, the...more

Summary of 2016 CMS Final Rule for Advance Care Planning

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued the 2016 final Medicare payment rules for physicians, hospitals and other providers. The rules include a provision that empowers patients,...more

Health Care Group News: Bi-Partisan Budget Act Affects New Provider-Based Facilities

On October 30, 2015 Congress passed the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 (hereinafter the "Act"). Section 603 of the Act is of particular relevance to hospitals and health care providers because of its potential to chill the...more

Final Curtain Call for Tuomey: Long-Running FCA/Stark Case Settled

After 10 years of litigation, including two trials and appeals to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Tuomey Healthcare System (Tuomey) have entered into a settlement of DOJ's action...more

Limited Modifications in Final ACO Fraud and Abuse Waivers Most Notably Include Cut of Gainsharing CMP Waiver

Nearly four years after publishing their joint interim final rule with comment period, effective November 2, 2011 (IFC), the OIG and CMS (Agencies) have finalized the waivers of various fraud and abuse laws in the context of...more

CMS Finalizes Significant Changes to the Two Midnight Rule in the 2016 OPPS Final Rule

On October 30, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Calendar Year 2016 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Final Rule (2016 OPPS Final Rule). In the 2016 OPPS Final Rule, CMS finalizes...more

Reimbursement Change for Off-Campus Provider-Based Clinics, Physician Offices, and Ambulatory Surgical Centers

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a two-year budget deal with a key provision affecting hospitals and other health care providers. Effective January 1, 2017, the Act decreases the...more

CMS Publishes Proposed Rule on Hospital/HHA Discharge Planning Requirements

On November 3, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would modify the discharge planning conditions of participation (COPs) for hospitals, including long-term care hospitals...more

CMS/OIG Finalize Fraud Authority Waivers for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Shared Savings Program...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have finalized a rule designed to “remove legal and regulatory barriers that can impede care coordination in furtherance of the...more

Congress Take Step Toward Site-Neutral Medicare Payments in Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

On October 28, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that, if enacted, would, among other things, substantially alter how and how much Medicare pays for outpatient services furnished by hospitals. The...more

CMS Provides More Time to Comment on MACRA Physician Payment Reforms

CMS has extended the comment period on its October 1, 2015 request for information (RFI) regarding implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System and promotion of alternative payment models in accordance with...more

Health Care Physicians in the Crosshairs: Criminal Prosecution

Recent changes to our health care system have been at the forefront of the American news cycle for several years. But certain aspects have not received adequate attention. One example is the scrutiny federal and state...more

CMS Sends Final 2016 Medicare Payment Rules to OMB for Review

This week CMS referred major final calendar year 2016 Medicare payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for regulatory clearance. Specifically, OMB is reviewing the final CMS rules to update the...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - October 2015 #3

CMS Announces Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management Model Demonstration – On September 28, 2015, CMS announced a Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management Model (Enhanced MTM Model) that is designed to assess...more

CMS Releases Medicare DMEPOS Payment/Utilization Data

In a continuation of the Administration’s efforts to make Medicare spending data more transparent, CMS has released detailed payment information regarding physicians and other providers who order durable medical equipment,...more

Clinical Laboratories: Proposed Rule Implements Requirements for Reporting and Payment Based on Private Payer Rates

As required by a 2014 statute, CMS has issued proposed regulations (Proposed Rule) implementing new requirements for laboratory reporting of, and eventually basing Medicare payment on, rates for clinical laboratory services...more

CMS Proposes Major Changes to Medicare Clinical Lab Test Payment Policy

On October 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its long-awaited proposed rule to base Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule (CLFS) reimbursement on private insurance payment amounts...more

Suing the Hand that Feeds You

Jeffrey Jacobs alleges that Idaho’s Pocatello Hospital violated the False Claims Act because of physician recruitment contracts that were overly generous to his practice group. Jeff should know because he was recruited under...more

Payment Innovation: 30 Day Window to Provide CMS Comments on Physician Payment Changes Under MACRA Begins

On September 28, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking stakeholder comments related to innovative physician payment models required by the Medicare Access...more

CMS Proposes Overhaul of Clinical Lab Payment Methodology: What You Need To Know

On Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a long-awaited proposed rule that would drastically change the payment rates for clinical laboratory services beginning January 1, 2017 (the “Proposed...more

Removing the Barriers to Coordinated Care: the Stark Law

August 10, 2015 was the 22nd anniversary of the expansion of the Medicare self-referral prohibition to include 10 “designated health services” in addition to clinical laboratory tests. This law is the so-called Stark Law....more

Medicare GME payments and hospital mergers: A hotbed of issues

Many hospital sale and affiliation transactions involve teaching hospitals. Whether the teaching hospital involved is new to training residents or is part of a long-established teaching program, the parties will need to work...more

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